Category: Action

“Top Gun: Maverick”

8.8

Worth. The. Wait.

Saw it twice opening weekend in IMAX.

Holy Shit.

Strap in for one of the best action films of the 21st century. Tom Cruise may be weird off screen, but I’ll be damned, he’s one of the best to ever do it on-screen. Pure nostalgia, soaked in adrenaline, hurled at the screen at Mach 3. With a 2 minute scene between Maverick and Iceman that has more heart and levity in it than most entire drama’s in the past decade. Bravo not only to the old man, but this amazing young cast with hopefully bright futures ahead of them all! This is how it’s done!

“Bullet Train”

8.2

Guy Ritchie – Lite.

I am absolutely loving Bradd Pitt’s wandering into highly variable roles lately! He absolutely kills it in this. The action-comedy is a tough balance to strike in order to not fall into either too-uptight or going full “Naked Gun.” This film threads the needle extremely well, and keeps you guessing even after the credits roll. I still wasn’t positive the movie was over, waiting for one more narrative twist. Well directed action and well rounded characters, with a nice weaving of mystery in and out of the plot, as the story and the train go off the rails. Chef’s kiss, some of the most fun I’ve had in the cinema all year!

“Violent Night”

8.4

Did I overshoot this one rating-wise? Possibly. That being said, it’s absolutely amazing at what it set out to be, and then some. What I figured would be a solid holiday action meeting ended up leading me and everyone else in the theater through a tour of all of the emotions. We laughed, we cried, we almost threw up because seeing some of the kills would make John Wick blush… It was AMAZING.

David Harbour plays Santa with a refreshing take. Who knew St. Nick had a relationship with a war hammer akin to Thor and Mjölnir? That being said, Leah Brady steals the show, and gives the film its heart. The chemistry she and Santa have grounds him in a way that’s necessary with such violence on display, providing the necessary motivation to make us root for Santa to not just take them off the naughty list, but off this earth.

The bad guys were a little one-dimensional, but it’s excusable given the strengths of the other characters. This and “Bullet Train” gave me faith this year. If we believe… Hollywood will give us great action movies! All it takes is a little literal Christmas magic.